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Islanders 5, Lightning 1

by Brian Croce / New York Islanders
The Islanders continued their recent hot streak cruising to a 5-1 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum.

Coming off a 3-0-1 roadtrip, the Islanders improve to 9-11-5 on the year. The Lightning suffered their fifth consecutive loss, and fall to 11-14-2.

The Lightning jumped out early when Brett Clark took a shot from blueline that was deflected in front by Martin St. Louis and found its way between Al Montoya’s pads. The goal marked St. Louis’ 800th career NHL point and gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead with 6:55 gone by in the first.

The Islanders responded to trailing, and bounced back with three unanswered goals in the period. Entering tonight’s game, the Islanders were 1-10-2 when their opponent netted the first goal.

The Islanders got on the board after Matt Moulson won a battle along the boards and found John Tavares between the faceoff circles. Tavares sniped a shot past Mathieu Garon to knot the score at 1-1 with 5:59 remaining in the first period. With the play, Tavares snapped a 14-game goal drought and Moulson extended his point streak to five games.

Tim Wallace, making his Islanders debut, found Matt Martin in front of the Lightning net. Martin quickly fired and beat Garon glove side to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead at the 18:26 mark.

“Someone mentioned before that when we used to get scored on early in a game we would kind of hang our heads, get down on the bench and feel like the game was over,” Martin said. “Tonight, (when) they scored, we felt like we were in control of the game. We just stuck with it, kept playing hard and got a couple of bounces and put the puck in the net.”

On the power play, after a Nate Thompson boarding penalty, the Islanders displayed some nifty passing to go ahead 3-1 heading into the first intermission. Mark Streit fed Frans Nielsen down low who then made a cross-crease pass to Milan Jurcina for a chip-in goal. It was Jurcina’s first goal of the season.

David Ullstrom scored his first career NHL goal at the 3:19 mark of the third period to give the Islanders a 4-1 lead. Josh Bailey left a drop pass just inside the blueline and Ullstrom blasted a shot past Garon’s blocker side.

Moulson capped the win with his 14th goal of the season and eighth goal in the last five games.

“It was a good win, the team played great,” Wallace said. “It started from Al, he played great, the defense cleared guys out and we generated chances.”

The Islanders will continue their three-game homestand on Thursday when the Chicago Blackhawks come to town. The Blackhawks came away with a shootout win over the Islanders last Friday in Chicago.
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